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Welcome to EFC-ER's Weekly Encourager. We trust that this will become a bright spot each week in your emails. The purpose of the Weekly Encourager is to provide up-to-date information about region-wide events, prayer requests, and helpful resources from the local churches. We will close each email with a quick quote and/or survey to gather helpful resources from leaders to share with our wider Friends family. 
EFC-ER Photo Contest!
We're looking for quality photos and we need them fast!  We are collecting photos to start a photo library that will be used as part of our new website and future print brochures explaining who we are as Friends. 

If you have  quality, high-definition, digital photos that you'd be willing to share, please contact Donna Neff ( dneff@efcer.org ) and she will send specific directions on how to upload your photos or where to send flash drives. We'd like a wide assortment of photos in hand  by Sept. 16th . (To be used on the new website, we would like them in the next two weeks.)  

We will be offering a prize for the following:
  1. Most photos submitted by one person
  2. Best action photo
  3. Best scenic photo
  4. Best photo representing worship

We are looking for a variety of photos to set the theme for the different types of pages. Here's a starting point on types of photos we'd like:

  • Action photos of people out of doors
  • Children & adults interacting
  • Photos that reflect worship (in church, in nature, in prayer groups, etc.)
  • Good close-ups of faces reflecting the variety of people who attend our churches
  • Scenic views from your region of the country and around the world from mission trips
  • Scenic photos of our church buildings - we have so many different types of churches  within our church family.
  • Photos of elements of service - meals, helping in community clean up, working around the church, etc.
Back to School
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Check out what some of our churches are doing as we begin another school year! If you hosted an event, we would love to hear about it and see pictures!

Pastor Rick Sams from  Alliance Friends Church described their 10th annual fall school supplies give-away. It involved many from the community including teachers, superintendents, board members, politicians, firefighters, police officers, and church members. Businesses and individuals donated money or supplies, and this year they were able to give away over 1400 backpacks. There are bounce houses and outdoor games for the kids while they wait for their supplies. People from the church walk through the lines to share the Gospel with people. The church also serves lunch to everyone. 

Molly Colian, the Children's Director at  Morningside Friends Church shared about their Backpack Blessing (see above), " Two weeks ago we had the kids bring their backpack in and they got to be a part of adult service and had the parents stand with their kids as Pastor Tom prayed for their school year. Last week, we prayed for all private and public school teachers along with homeschool parents and college professors."

Orange Friends had "All Family Sunday" where they lined the stage with backpacks and had all the students and teachers stand so that others could lay hands on them during a time of prayer.

Pastor Mark Reich and Beloit Friends hosted Family Fun Nights throughout the summer. At the last one, they collected school supplies for a local 3rd grade class.

Brewster Friends partnered with other area churches and organizations to hold a Back to School Day at the elementary school. Together they gave out school supplies, free haircuts, Sno cones, and meals for local families. This year they handed out over 300 backpacks and supplies, gave 70 haircuts, around 1,000 Sno cones, and fed well over 500 people! They were also able to stock all the teacher work rooms to help students throughout the school year.

Matt McGovern, the Family Life Pastor at  Hughesville Friends explained their new Sunday School initiative using the Gospel Project to take the church through a three-year journey through the Bible. They are excited for the launch on September 13th. 
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Keeping Prayer a High Priority
We trust that every church is sharing these prayer requests within their local prayer community. Here are this week's requests: 

1 -  Remember our teachers and students as they head back to school and begin another school year. 
2 - Please lift up Don Kensler, Fred Kensler (Associate Superintendent)'s father, who is in poor health.
3 - Pray for Bessie Kernodle, the widow of Pastor Charlie Kernodle, who in is Annie Penn Hospital in Reidsville, NC.
Upcoming Events:
* September 12th 
- Beth Moore Simulcast
available at three of our churches:
* September 18-19 
- Hispanic Pastors Retreat
at the World Outreach Center.
* September 25-27 - Focus on Discipleship Conference at East Richland Friends Church. Visit www.focusconference.info for more information. 
* October 9-11 
- Northern WMF Retreat 
at Heartland Retreat Center. There will be several workshops offered during the retreat. Check here for options. For registration, download the brochure here.  
* October 15 
- Adult Ministries Fall Retreat 
from 11am - 3:30pm at the Amish Door in Wilmot, OH. For more information, visit www.efcer.org or download the brochure here. The cost is $24 before September 9th and $29 after. 
* October 16-18 
- Southern WMF Retreat
 
at the Hilton Garden Inn Outer Banks. For registration, download the brochure here
* October 23-24 
- Equip2Serve
ministry conference at Malone University. The cost is $50 and includes breakfast, lunch, and all workshop materials. For more information and to register visit www.malone.edu/equip2serve or download the flyer here.
Europe Mission Trip

During the month of August, Wayne and Regina Evans had the opportunity to visit our missionaries in Romania, Hungary, Croatia, and Serbia. 

In Romania, they spent a few days with Voicu and Ana Marian learning about their ministries (workshop, English school, and youth outreaches), and th difficulty they face from the dominant religious community. 

Most of the trip was spent with Tony and Agi Frei from Hungary. 

Tony and Agi introduced Wayne and Regina to their home church and many people in the communities of Hungary, Croatia and Serbia. 

Overall, Wayne and Regina were able to experience new countries and cultures that broadened their horizons in many ways and helped them to better understand the ministry in those countries. Please join us in prayer for the Freis and Marians and their ministries.
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October is Missions Emphasis Month!
Great Commission Budget (GCB) promotion materials will be sent in September for your use during October. Please watch for those boxes as they will include materials for adults and children.

Roy Twaddell (EFM) is available to speak in our churches during October. To take advantage of this opportunity, contact Julie Jenkins. As Sunday dates are limited, consider hosting Roy for smaller gatherings where you will get to know him one-on-one. 
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" Speak for those who cannot speak for themselves." - Proverbs 31:8

September is Friends Action Month, and this year the Friends Action Board is advocating against human  slavery. To learn more, download the brochure here . If you would like copies of the brochure to be mailed to your church, please call the World Outreach Center. 
The Not Today Coalition is a collection of like-minded organizations and individuals taking action by building schools in India for the Dalits. Their hands-on experience and research has shown that education leads to the prevention of human trafficking and bonded labor. For more ways to get involved, visit their website at: 
CONTACT US
World Outreach Center
5350 Broadmoor Cir., NW
Canton, OH 44709
1-800-334-8863
Julia McDonald, Editor
jmcdonald@efcer.org
A Little Extra.... QUOTE  FOR THE WEEK:

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." - Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV) 

We hope you've enjoyed catching up with news from the EFC-ER office.
More information and news will be coming each week. 
Please send Julia ( jmcdonald@efcer.org ) any of your suggestions, quotes,  and/or ideas for weekly encouragement .